4. Inspiration, Names and Other Details
"But when they were landed, Maedhros the eldest of his sons, and on a time the friend of Fingon ere Morgoth's lies came between, spoke to Fëanor, saying: 'Now what ships and rowers will you spare to return, and whom shall they bear hither first? Fingon the Valiant?'
"Then Fëanor laughed as one fey, and he cried: 'None and none! What I have left behind I count now no loss; needless baggage on the road it has proved. Let those that cursed my name, curse me still, and whine their way back to the cages of the Valar! Let the ships burn!' Then Maedhros alone stood aside..."
The drama of that moment riveted me to their story in a manner only to be equaled in the following cite:
"Long before, in the bliss of Valinor, before Melkor was unchained, or lies came between them, Fingon had been close in friendship with Maedhros; and though he knew not yet that Maedhros had not forgotten him at the burning of the ships, the thought of their ancient friendship stung his heart. Therefore he dared a deed which is justly renowned among the feats of the princes of the Noldor: alone, and without the counsel of any, he set forth in search of Maedhros..."
Of course the heroic feat that is spoken of here is the rescue of Maedhros from the cliffs of Thangorodrim where he had been chained after his capture by Morgoth. Maedhros's brothers are unable to even attempt this, yet Fingon does, alone, and succeeds. The result is the reuniting of the two friends and their healing of the rift between the houses of the Noldor. Maedhros renounces his claim to the High Kingship of the Noldor in favor of Fingolfin. At the death of Fingolfin, Fingon, as his oldest son and heir, assumes the Kingship. It is Fingon who leads the assault upon Morgoth known as the Nirnaeth Arnoediad or the Unnumbered Tears. Maedhros rushes to support him, but, separated by betrayal, their armies never come together and Fingon is slain in that confrontation by the Balrog, Gothmog. Even those who know little of the story are aware of Maedhros's end.
As I conceptualized it, my story of Fingon and Maedhros fell into a pattern reminiscent of the idealized relationship between a young man and his more youthful lover in the tradition of Ancient Greece. In this story I present Maedhros as the mentor and teacher of the younger Fingon. Meanwhile, Fingon attracts his older half-cousin, not only by his beauty (which in his case, as a scion of the House of Finwë, must have been considerable), but by his valor, generosity and honesty. The relationship is marked on the one side by the talent, accomplishments, warmth, and beauty of Maedhros and, on the other side, in addition to the youthful transparency and attractiveness of Fingon, by virtues that the older of the two lovers would admire and seek to emulate as well.
The tragic backdrop to their story, of course, is that of the fall of the House of Fëanor and the Doom of the Noldor. A self-admitted coward, I chose to tell only the story of the first euphoric recognition of that love, set in the Time of the Trees in Valinor, and leave for another time its painful end.
While this story may include several deliberate and/or unintentional canon departures, for the moment the one I want to address is the question of Formenos. The Silmarillion states that Formenos was a stronghold and fortress, the implication being that it was constructed and occupied first by Feanor and family after he was exiled from Tirion. For purposes of this story I chose to adapt Dawn Felagund’s version of Formenos as a pre-existing settlement in the north as used in her novel Another Man’s Cage. Feanor’s family spends their summers in Formenos and in Dawn’s world this is the environment where Feanor feels most at ease and least beleaguered. In later segments of this story arc it will be revealed to be the area where Feanor will find his most stalwart supporters.
I have used the Quenya names for the characters and been attentive to how I imagine the various characters would refer to one another, including the use of nicknames. Since many of the names are known best by their Sindarin versions, I provide a short name reference list below:
Sindarin - Quenya (and/or nicknames)
Fingon - Findekáno, Káno
Maedhros - Maitimo, Nelyafinwë, Nelyo
Fëanor - Fëanáro
Finarfin - Arafinwë
Celegorm - Tyelkormo
Maglor - Macalaurë
Caranthir - Carnistir
Fingolfin - Nolofinwë
Curufin - Curufinwë/Curvo
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.